Learning to network and keeping in touch with old relationships has been one of the most important things in my career.
As happy and content as you may be in your current position, in today’s job market you must learn to network. Connections and opportunities may and will present themselves when you least expect them. In this short blog today I hope to give you some ideas you may not have thought of and which I hope you try.
On the Web: There are some great websites you can join. However, before I give you the websites I want to ask you to be careful as to what information you post on the web. First, remember that anyone will have access to the information posted and if you are using it in hopes of growing in your career the information posted must always be posted in a professional manner. A professional would not post unprofessional pictures of him/herself. You may look very cute/hot in that new sexy outfit, I am sure you do. But is that what you want your new boss seeing? Would you not rather that he/she see you in a more professional way? Second, As I am sure you know, there are predators out there who will be more than happy to use whatever information you post on the web to use it against you. Be it to steal your identity, harass or do whatever it is that slime normally does. Having said all that, please do not let the slime of the world who have nothing better to do preclude you from using one of the best tools of our generation, the web. Personally I use these websites in order to stay in touch with past employers, old college friends as well as to make new connections and hopefully friends. If these connections can help me in my career that is a bonus.
Besides the Web there are quite a few organizations I recommend you join. A search on the web will most likely reveal the organizations in your area. Here are some of the ones I am most familiar with:
If you have other associations in your area that you would like to see listed on the blog, please send me an email and I will make sure to check them out and add them to the list. Being a member of these organizations can be a really good “perk.” Most of them are well connected with the legal the community and, if you happen to be looking for a job, they are a great resource to have. LAANJ has a job bank and they will try to place their members whenever possible.
In addition to the professional organizations, your local Chamber of Commerce can be of great help as well.
When it comes to networking Jeremy Thorn, a Leadership Coach and workshop facilitator, has a list of ten things you must learn and do in order to succeed which will likely bring you success:
- Be Brave – put yourself out there.
- Make opportunities – go to the right places.
- Be prepared – Set a goal.
- Meet people you don’t know – When you go to a meeting or an event make it a point to meet people you do not know.
- Survey the land – Do you homework about the even you are about to attend. Try to get a list of the attendees and read about them.
- Make your first move.
- Make a powerful introduction.
- Ask who they are. Let them talk about themselves and learn from them.
- Disengage – Do not linger with the same contact all night. Learn to make an exit.
- Keep notes and follow-up – most people forget this part. It is a small but very important part. It allows people to keep you in mind.
Now, go out there and network. Let me know how it works out.